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Posted: October 01, 2011

GENxyz Top Five: Ted Church

His hybrid ad agency creates merchandise that fits the market

Maria Martin

TedChurch.jpg

Try to figure out what "Sesame Street," Burton snowboards and Google have in common.

If you know Ted Church, you have the answer. The president and founder of Boulder-based Anthem Branding has helped each of those companies recognize its brand.

"Basically we're a hybrid ad agency," says Church, 38. "We're an advertising, design and merchandise agency."

Package design and Web development tap the creative minds of the 17 employees at Anthem Branding.

"We come up with products that are authentic to that company," he says. "We're lifestyle branding experts. We've expanded our services so we do everything but TV. We take a creative approach."

Creativity pays off. In 2010, revenue was $4.9 million, up from $1.9 million in 2007. View Masters, mouse pads and jail keys have all become promotional merchandise with the innovative touch of Anthem Branding's employees.

"For Burton, we recently created a scale that measures your weight, and based on that weight and your riding ability, it will suggest which board you should be riding."

Church pauses for a moment, gathering his thoughts.

"That's the kind of thing that makes clients come to us," he says. "We're efficient and we're imaginative."

Attributes, says Joe Liggett, that perfectly fit his employer. The account manager works with new clients on marketing strategies.

"He's very forward-thinking," says Liggett, who nominated Church for the Gen XYZ award. "He's a trend setter and he's a great motivator. It's a great place to work because he's always supportive of whatever comes to the table. He allows his employees to have input on how the business is going."
Church says he's proud that the business taps local merchants whenever possible.

"We do about 3,500 projects a year, some from national clients," Church says. "Whenever we can get it locally, we do, from silk-screen embroidering companies to blank apparel, like T-shirts and hats."

Giving back to the community also means a commitment of time, says Church, who is a member of the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFFA).
"We like to say that it's a hand up rather than a handout," Church says. "Some of what the organization does is provide transitional housing and a food bank for those in need."

His wife and two daughters, ages 7 and 10, volunteer at the food bank, he says. "I have a wonderful family," he says, adding that he's also lucky to have a job he loves.

"It's a really positive business," Church says. "We're promoting people and their businesses, and they're getting excited about
our ideas. I go in every day thinking I know what the day will hold, but I never do. It's exciting every day."

And, he says, he has the best of both worlds, running the business and also getting to help with the creative aspects of the work.

"It helps that I have a five-minute attention span," Church says with a laugh. "I can juggle around 500 things a day."
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Maria Martin is a freelance writer.

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